How can we create more enriched environments for ourselves, our children, our pets, and society as a whole?
One of the most accessible and natural anti-depressants that can help break a bad mood and encourage positive neural activity is Play!
Consider what play means to you. It may be something you’d like to do, but a nagging voice in your head tells you “there are more important things to do.” Maybe you want to pick up the camera more, reconnect with old friends, go to the dog park, or do something out of your usual routine.
In the US, we see playtime as a luxury because we tend to overvalue work and productivity. Our minds often tell us that play is unproductive. This is one of the biggest lies that our brain tells us. Follow your pet’s example! Be playful and enjoy the little things! The research is clear – those that integrate play into their lives are more likely to run the mazes of life faster and more efficiently!
There are other tricks to uncovering a more playful life and to finding playmates. The first step is to look for ways to create more enriching, playful environments. Then we need to actively create these environments for ourselves!
Being mindful of play and routinely engaging it in your life can create positive neural shifts that, when practiced and repeated, can build resilience and lead to an increased sense of self-worth and happiness.